Description: This dissertation explores how nonconscious thought processing might be affected and activated in ways that influence consumer decision making. To activate nonconscious thought processes, this dissertation relies on priming—the unobtrusive activation of mental representations by stimuli in a social context, which occurs without participants' conscious awareness. Three dimensions of consumer decision making are investigated: purchase intention, product evaluation and arousal. The dissertation is based on the auto-motive model of nonconscious goal pursuit and somatic marker hypothesis. The dissertation is driven by three experiments, which respectively explore crucial areas in priming effects and addresses the following research question: can primes be shaped or controlled by marketers? Specifically, the dissertation examines whether shopping behavior can be primed. Second, the dissertation also examines how facial primes displaying basic emotions (happiness, anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise) can prime emotion and arousal. Finally the dissertation examines the effect of the interaction of the buying prime with the primes of faces displaying basic emotions on the dependent variables of purchase intention, product evaluation, emotion, and arousal. Results from three experimental studies show that shopping behavior can be primed, and primed participants will exhibit higher product evaluation than those exposed to a control prime. Second while exposing participants to primes of faces displaying emotions did not elicit those emotions, the priming with faces did reveal a marginal activation of arousal in the participants. Third priming with faces was not found to interact with primed buying behavior such that the interaction would affect the level of arousal. The results indicate that Bargh's auto-motive model of nonconscious goal pursuit can be applied to marketing. Thus priming shopping behavior can affect product evaluation though the effect of this prime appears to be too weak to be applied in the field. Priming with faces was found not to interact ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Fabrize, Jr., Robert O.
Partner: UNT Libraries